It’s Stress Awareness Month – Here Are 7 Growth Tips For When the Going Gets Tough

April is recognized each year as Stress Awareness Month. Stress is a normal part of everyone’s life, but if it becomes our everyday normal, we’re missing out on huge growth opportunities. Working professionals are in the trenches every day, and whether you pause long enough to realize it or not, you are learning new things all the time. What if you could build in a little time to make those new things work harder for you…and even save you time in the future? We call that a win-win. 

Managing stress is achievable, so here are 7 tips for achieving continued professional growth when your stress levels are high.  

  • Pencil it in: As you build out the timeline for projects, actively schedule time on your calendar to evaluate each one. Whether you call it a debrief, recap or post-mortem…don’t skip it. And take detailed notes, as they’ll likely save you a few steps on the next go round. 
  • Have an attitude of gratitude: Growth is about more than just mastering tasks. Get in the habit of regularly practicing an attitude of gratitude. Write it on your to-do list and pause at least once a week to reflect. When it comes to your professional life, what are you thankful for? Great colleagues, a flexible schedule, interesting projects? This perspective-changer does wonders for motivation. 
  • Learn something new: Whether it’s one new thing a week or every month – commit to learning or trying something new. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy like taming lions or skydiving. Start small, and over time, that skill set is going to add up. 
  • Be transparent: Save yourself a mountain of grief…be transparent about what you know and what you don’t know. Lack of knowledge on a subject isn’t a weakness. In fact, identifying that you aren’t familiar with something, but demonstrating willingness and initiative to figure it out shows character and builds trust. 
  • Find your people: It’s a big, scary world out there. Find people who will play you straight, that you can pour into and that pour into you right back. We have so much to learn from one another, but our pride gets in the way far too often. 
  • Know your limits: This doesn’t mean that you should slack off or not follow through on your commitments. But, be in tune with your personal pre-burnout signals, and call in reinforcements when appropriate. Once you enter the land of burnout, it’s hard to find your way out. 
  • Define your boundaries: Take the time to decide where your boundaries are and use them as your compass. No one will do this for you. When you know what you want your life to look like, what you are willing to compromise on and what needs to stand firm, it’s much easier to stick to your plan when unexpected requests or opportunities arise.  

We asked the team at Raven Creative to share some of their best tips for reducing everyday stress.